DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh plans to lower the sulfur content of its gasoil imports to 10 parts per million (ppm) sulfur from the current 500ppm from mid-2018, a senior company official told Reuters on Tuesday.
This is in line with a global shift toward cleaner fuels, the official said, declining to be named as he was not authorized to speak to media.
“We are working on it. We will hold talks with our suppliers once the things get finalised,” the official said, without giving details.
Bangladesh imports around 3.5 million tonnes of gasoil a year to meet domestic demand, while the country’s sole Eastern Refinery produces about 350,000 tonnes.
Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) is the biggest supplier of gasoil to BPC with around 1 million tonnes a year, but it is unable to supply 10ppm sulfur gasoil until its refineries are upgraded, traders said.
Other than KPC, suppliers for Bangladesh’s middle distillates contracts include Malaysia’s Petronas, Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC), Indonesia’s Bumi Siak Pusako, Philippines National Oil Co, Vietnam’s Petrolimex, PetroChina and Unipec.
If Bangladesh decides to go ahead with the plan of importing cleaner diesel, its import costs are likely to go up, traders said, though they could not provide estimates as this will depend on the price spread between the two grades next year.
Reporting by Ruma Paul in DHAKA; additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Vyas Mohan